A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Pre-Depression Military & Police Revolver

Properly known as the Model of 1905, 4th Change, The S&W Military & Police revolver has undergone many a metamorphasis over the years, and is technically still in production with the Model 10. Click to enlargeThe revolver can be traced back to 1899, but the design reached a high point in 1905. It is easy to spot a Pre-Depression era M&P by the mushroom shaped ejector rod cap. The buyer had a choice of a round or a square butt, and the guns came in barrel lengths of 2, 4, 5 and 6 inches, with a moon shaped front sight. The 2 inchers are worth quite a premium today. The M&P was available in nickel or blue. Both finishes had case colored hammers and triggers. The trigger face was smooth, and the hammer had delicate checkering. A rare few were fitted with target sights.

The Pre-Depression M&P has a long throw action, that is often considered the finest ever put in a double action revolver. The craftsmanship that went into the production of these handguns is second to none. They can still be found today for $200-300, depending on condition, and if they have good rifling, they are excellent shooters.



Blogger Cliff_1911A1 said...

Xavier, thanks for posting these "K" frame S&W revolvers.

The one shown in the bottom of your photo has a "Made in U.S.A." rollstamp on the right side of the frame, just above the front of the trigger guard. This isn't on the revolver at the top of the picture.

Any significance to this?

7:00 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Just an earlier model Cliff. The "Made In USA" mark came about in 1939, and the "Marcas Registrdas" occured in 1948. Thus the "made In USA" gun is not really a Pre-Depression M&P. I just looked that info up in Henwood's America's Right Arm and learned it myself! I updated the blog piece on it too. Thank you!

The lower gun is a .32WCF, making it somehow more "valuable" than the more common .38 Special gun. Go figure, I'd rather have a .38 gun that I can shoot frequently and cheaply.

The mushroom ejector rod and it's corresponding barrel was supposedly deleted in 1930, yet the .32WCF gun bears a 1939 marking! Perhaps the 32-20 was a slower seller and cylinders and barrels were stockpiled. I don't think the gun is a mutant, there is no indication of that......Perhaps I should letter it.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Cliff_1911A1 said...

And a letter from Mr. Jinks cost how much??? You betcha!!! I would have it "lettered"!!!

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Angus Lincoln said...

Thanks Xavier, this information is very interesting to me and is helping me to identify what revolver is exactly. I own a copy of The Standard Catalog of S&W and I was believing my pistol was made between 1905 and 1906 on account of the serial #6691xx, but it doesn't have mushroom knob, and it is stamped "made in USA" on the right side under the cylinder. Here is a picture link:
. The trigger and hammer are case hardened and the gun has been re-blued, which I understand makes it not as collectible, but it shoots very well. I am confused now, as to when this one was manufactured. Perhaps some one swapped a part or two on it over the years? For $150 I could never be disappointed with it.Any thoughts on it's origins?

9:07 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Angus, I would wager your revolver was produced after 1938, but before 1942.

10:08 PM  

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